Well, it had to happen. After quite a few years’ faithful service, the Paddock Plants van has been replaced by a rather more youthful pretender. Charming though she is, the dear old Plant Mobile had become just rather too unreliable to carry on. Wondering whether the van will start of a morning rather takes the edge off the excitement of setting off for a show.
And the list of advisory notes plus the cost of getting her through the last MOT rather clinched it and we set off on the hunt for a replacement. In our innocence we hadn’t realised just how rare the extra high roof (H3 in technical parlance) is in the big wide world of vans. Hens’ teeth is the most apt metaphor for the circumstance.
We toyed for a while with the idea of an Iveco Daily with the extra long wheelbase but, despite the best efforts of the very helpful Matt of Economy Vehicles in Bournemouth, nothing really suitable could be unearthed across the UK. After some re-evaluation we decided that a van like our existing one, ie a Renault Master long wheelbase plus extra high roof was the best fit for our needs after all, but they too were very much in the domestic poultry dental category.
However, after some dedicated trawling of Autotrader and related sites, we found just what we were after – 15 months old, 40k on the clock and in immaculate condition. And all the bells and whistles to boot in the form of air con, sat nav and the like. So, a couple of phone calls and a bit of debit card action later, we had her delivered on Tuesday and today (Sunday) we moved all the racks and stuff from the old Plant Mobile into the new one. Because the good news is we have found a buyer for the old van and she is being picked up tomorrow.
All that remains is to arrange the transfer of the TAZ number plate and to sort out graphics for the new van. But in the meantime we can still enjoy satnavving our way around Hampshire in air conditioned comfort.
Rob & Joanna – April 2013